Press releases

Swiss Post is simplifying import customs clearance

Swiss Post will simplify the customs clearance process for import consignments on 1 March 2012 and introduce customs clearance prices that are in line with the "originator pays" principle. As a result, some prices will be considerably lower. The new pricing model will calculate the customs clearance prices independently of the shipping channel and will instead differentiate according to the country of origin and value of the goods. The new prices will result in a noticeable easing, in particular in connection with the direct import of low-price goods from neighbouring countries. Beginning on 1 October 2011, all import consignments whose VAT and import duty amounts to less than CHF 5, will be processed free of charge, regardless of the shipping channel. The adaptation of the pricing model was coordinated with the federal price watchdog and a consensus was reached.

Swiss Post will adapt the prices for customs-related tasks that it carries out on behalf of the Swiss Confederation on 1 March 2012. In doing so, it will simplify the import-related customs clearance services and additional services for its customers. The new pricing model was agreed between Swiss Post and the federal price watchdog. it will result in a noticeable easing, in particular in connection with the direct import of low-price goods from neighbouring countries. The objectives of adapting the current system were to bring prices into line with the "originator pays" principle and to abolish price differences between shipping channels, where consumers often cannot exert any influence. To date, the market has differentiated between business and private consignments in terms of imports, and the market price for customs clearance of business consignments has been around CHF 40-50 and CHF 18 for consignments mailed to private customers in the postal channel.

Prices in line with the "originator pays" principle

The current price differences between the carriage and customs clearance by Swiss Post GLS or Swiss Post and the distinction between business and private consignments will be abolished with the new pricing model. In future, customs clearance fees will be determined on the basis of price criteria such as the country of origin and the value of the goods in the consignment. Moreover, as for postal customs clearance, Swiss Post GLS – which specializes in consignments for business customers – will handle all import consignments free of charge as of 1 October 2011, if the VAT and import customs duty is less than CHF 5.

The countries of origin will be broken down into two zones, in accordance with the new pricing model, and the countries bordering on Switzerland will constitute a separate zone. Around half of all consignments imported into Switzerland by Swiss Post arrive from Germany, France, Italy and Austria. For consignments with a value of up to CHF 200 from these countries, Swiss Post offers its customers the lowest customs clearance prices in Switzerland for imported consignments. In addition, surcharges for additional services were agreed with the price watchdog and will also be calculated in line with the "originator pays" principle.

The customs clearance price is calculated according to the following formula:

basic price + 3% of the value = customs clearance price (max. CHF 70.00)

Price overview for import customs clearance valid as of 1 March 2012 for postal consignments, EMS consignments and Swiss Post GLS consignments

Basic price customs clearance zone 1 (countries of origin: Germany, France, Italy, Austria) CHF 12.00
Basic price customs clearance zone 2 (remaining countries) CHF 16.50
Surcharge for value of goods 3%
Maximum customs clearance price CHF 70.00